tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN February 20, 2011 10:00am-11:00am EST
religious freedom and as the father of a university of virginia, by these three as testimonials that i have lived, then i wish most to be remembered. >> mr. president, thank you so much for your time today. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure as well. >> you can find these gentlemen in the flesh in colonial williamsburg, virginia. enjoy your president's day. thanks for watching "state of the union." up next to our viewers here in the united states, fareed zakaria. this is gps the global public square. welcome to you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. let me preview what's on today. we have a great show for you. an exclusive conversation with george soros, the speculate every, activist, thinker. he has spent decades working to
spread open societies around the world. we'll talk about the middle east, fate of the u.s. economy and euro crises and what he thinks about the attacks on him personally from the right. then, what in the world? one of big wild cardses is the muslim brotherhood, are they would-be terrorists or regular folks you and me. what about iran? is it the next egypt? we'll put together a great gps panel. finally, we'll take a look at some beautiful art work in baghdad and tell you why the white house is getting a bill for a billion dollars for these concrete canvass. my take, the big question we're all wondering about as we watch the continuing protest and turmoil in the middle east is what will come of it. it's impossible to tell in the short term if the regimes will win or the people will. remember in the middle east there are two methods of control, mass repression and
mass bribery. the syrians use mass repression, the saudis mass bribery. in bahrain they tried to do both offering each citizen money but putting tanks on the street. i think that we're witnessing the beginning of a decade of change in the middle east, whatever happens in the short term. even if some of the protests are beaten back and people stay quiet for now, over the years at various turning points, the death of a ruler, a planned election, a big public event, the protesters demands will crop up again. the reason is that under lying these protests are two big trends that are not going to go away, youth and technology. the middle east is going through one of the world's great youth bulges, 60% of the population is under 30. now, they are generally associated with revolts and sometimes with violence. one study found that over the
last 30 years 80% of the countries that have experienced violent conflict have had a youth. millions of young men treated as subjects not citizens. this is a recipe for a revolution. unless these regimes in the middle east find these young people jobs and give them a sense of dignity, things will continue to bubble. another place where some of this could happen is africa which has an extreme youth bulge of its own. the second big force over than the youth movement that is powering these trends is the information revolution. we're living through a particular technological shift that is empowering individuals and dis empowering governments. in the old days revolutionaries would try to take control of the radio station or tv station to use it to pop pull gate their message to the masses. that was when it was a one to many phenomenon.
today the internet and social media have made technology a many to many. you share information, photos and videos and messages easily and create communities and organize activities. the system is flat, everyone is connected but no one is in control. that breaks down hire ar keys and makes it very tough for dictatorships. it is too easy to say facebook will make you free, but it does make life difficult for dictators and those who want to keep their people isolated from the broad trends of the outside world. it will be a long journey, but i think the middle east might just have begun its right. if you want to read more, take a look at my cover piece in "time" magazine or go to time.com. there's a great portrait of the youth movement in the middle east. let's get started.
george soros is the 14th wealthiest american according to quts forbes, he's one of the most successful investors of all times who has spent billions to promote democracy around the world and promote what he calls open societies. he was a big supporter of then senator obama in the 2008 elections and has been relatively quiet on that subject in recent months. who better to talk about the democracy movements in the middle east, north africa and u.s. politics and the president's new budget and much more. welcome back, george. >> my pleasure. >> do you think what is going on in the arab world right now reminds you of 1989 when you were very active in helping those countries move to freedom? >> it is very similar. it's historic event, at least equally importance to what happened then. and it really is a spontaneous
desire of people living in closed societies to shake off the dictatorship and corrupt regimes and to move towards democracy. the big difference between 1989 and now is that there it was a -- the soviet dictatorship that was collapsing. here its our allies that are changing. and now we have to actually regain the confidence and alliance of the people in these countries. >> in eastern europe, the people were for us because we opposed those regimes. >> that's right. >> here we have supported the regimes so the people look at us, at least with some suspicious. >> yeah, but i must say, that in this respect, president obama
did an outstanding job. it's not sufficiently appreciated. really what a big difference it was that he was -- he's our president at this time. just imagine if bush and cheney would have been in charge. i don't think you would have had a peaceful revolution in egypt. >> even though they were for democracy and the bush talked about the freedom agenda? >> yes, but in effect they were allies of these regimes. and the president obama sees it in terms of people asserting their right to be more in charge of the government. >> you say revolutions usually start with enthusiasm but end in tears. >> that's right. >> and there are many cases where the things start off well
and the military reasserts control or there's some kind of total disfunction. what are less sons you've learned you about ho to make sure egypt goes right rather than goes wrong? >> what i learned in 1989 and '91 when i was very involved there is that the transition from a closed society to an open society is not an easy one. because it's a step up because there's a lot more involved in democracy than just overthrowing a dictator. you have to build institutions. that takes time. and actually, effort and these countries will need a lot of support for the revolution actually to succeed. >> and in egypt what people look at at the muslim brotherhood, a group whether or not it's peaceful or not, has pretty
extreme views and views that are often not compatible with an open society. >> this is what i find very heartening. because i also sort of accepted this view that it's either mubarak or the muslim brotherhood or al okayed. it turns out there is even in egypt a sufficiently engaged middle class, particularly young people who actually want to be democratic and are not beholden to an islamic political movement. so the reality actually turns out to be much more promising than i expected. >> when you look around at the regimes, the other regimes,
there seem to be protests and discontent everywhere. the one that is most interesting is iran. >> of course. and i'm convinced that the -- that the regime will not survive. it was already highly vulnerable because the revolution got further and further extreme. the actually, the islamic element was already disenfranchised and it was just a revolutionary guard and even within the revolutionary guard and increasingly narrow group of people who are maintaining themselves in power through real oppression and desperatism, killing people through judicial
processes and the large majority of people resent them, try to move up. and because they were o pressed, this movement was repressed. >> could we do something to further this strength? >> i think obama did actually there also, a very good job by refusing to get involved and to be instigating regime change. this attempt to impose a regime change from the outside is counter productive, because then the regime can accuse its opponents as being in the pay of a foreign power. here, he was criticized for it, that he wasn't pro-democracy,
now he's beginning to push and rightly so. and as i said, the situation there could get very, very ugly. i think that the opposition leaders could easily be killed through a false judicial process because the regime is fighting for its survival. because they know that thif committed such crimes that it's either them or the people. so they will put up a lot more resistance, but i don't think that they will be able to succeed. because this is something that people behave very differently than in normal times. they actually are willing to sacrifice their lives for a common cause. so it's -- and the impossible,
what seems to be impossible, not only becomes possible but it actually happens. so i would like to bet that the iranian regime will not be there in a year's time. >> wow. if the iranian regime collapses, this will be a real revolution in the middle east. i mean, you're imagining a period of great instability? >> yes. well, look, in the 89 '91, the soviet union collapsed. it was a major change in politics. the least you can expect is for iran to collapse in this one, for it to be significant. in other words, this game of dual politics is not totally fixed because what goes on inside states has a lot of influence on how those states
behave. so iran i think will almost inhe have vitably change its character and that will change the landscape. >> when we come back, more with george soros, we're going to ask about president obama's budget and the economy and how to creates jobs in this country. >> president obama has lost control of the agenda. the agenda is now in the hands of the republican party. - ( snoring ) - ( classical score playing ) - ( clinks ) - ( whispers ) we're breaking out. let's go. hmm? i'll get the dodo. - ( all yelling ) - scandalous. - ( alarm blaring ) - warden, two boys going for a stroll. - release the hounds. - ( dogs panting )
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so you'll pay no more than $15 on test strips, which is a true american value for people with diabetes like me. [ male announcer ] accu-chek aviva. born in the usa. we are back with george soros to talk about the american economy and what to do about it. where do you think the u.s. economy is right now? is the budget that president obama submitted the right way forward? are the republican critiques of it correct? where do you stand? >> well, president obama has lost control of the agenda. the agenda is now in the hands
of the republican party. and they are going to pursue a very strong effort to cut services by refusing to have any tax increases, by forcing the extension of the obama tax cuts also for the top 1 or 2%, you have built in a budget deficit. therefore, you've got to cut services and they'll oppose any kind of additional new taxes. i think this agenda will be successful but it will be pursued, i think, to an extent where it's more directed at cutting services and achieving
the ideologue cal purposes of the republicans, rather than to get the economy going. so i think this will have a negative effect on the economy. >> do you think overall, obama has handled the economy well? >> no, no i am critical of it and i think he made one major error. he had to bailout the banking system because without it, we would be in a depression. but the way he did it was the wrong way because he should have injected capital where it was missing. there was a hole in the equity. and he should have provided equity and instead of nationalizing the liabilities of the banks, but not nationalizing the banks. >> in the case of britain, you said the british government which is pursuing a policy of
cutting spending, though they have agreed to some tax increases, you said this whole policy because it is taking money out of the economy, the government would spend less, is -- is dangerous because it might tip the economy and britain back into recession. >> that's correct. >> do you think there's a similar danger here if the republican party pushes the spending cuts -- the economy is still fragile on the employment side. >> yes. doing this at a time when private demand is not strong enough, when investment by businesses is not strong enough to take up the slack, it creates a slack. so unemployment instead of coming down is likely to remain pretty high. and to have these resources permanently unemployed is
basically very harmful to the economy. >> you know what the republicans will say. they say if we don't do this, we will face a crisis because we're borrowing all this money and the bond market won't let us the money. you are the world's leader expert, you have accumulated a fortune of tens of billions of dollars figuring out when bond markets will support governments and when they won't. when you look at the u.s. government right now, do you think it is in danger of facing a crisis where it won't be able to borrow any more, that the bond market will punish it? >> yes, that's more or less in the cards because -- because we're not applying fiscal stimulus because the ideology is that the governments can't do anything right. so we can't expect the government to help. so you have vital resources and the federal reserve is providing
quantityivizin quantityivizing. when it expires they won't give it anymore, but it does create access, money supply and when you stop pushing money into the economy, interest rates will go up. and it will be the rise of interest rates that is going to choke off the economic recovery. >> you foresee a rise in interest rates in the united states which will kill growth? >> that's right. >> do you think there's danger of state or municipal defaults? >> there will be fear of it. and there will be defaults, yes. >> when we come back, i'm going to ask george soros, what he thinks about the sometimes truly bizarre tax upon him from some parts of the right.
>> fox news makes a habit, imported the methods of george orwell when you can tell the people falsehoods and deceive them. this is a very dangerous way of deceiving people. [ male announcer ] surprisingly priced at $15,995, the all-new 2011 jetta has arrived. discover german engineering and premium style on the jetta s with best-in-class rear legroom, as well as no-charge scheduled carefree maintenance, all standard. that's great for the price of good. during the presidents day event, lease the all-new 2011 jetta s for $179 a month. ♪
through? and where are they guiding us to? if you skill papt of the puppets and strings and stop looking at the puppets themselves, you have to see who is behind the puppets, who is choosing the puppets and players? george soros. >> george, glenn beck has been on this kick that you are actually the mastermind who is trying to bring down the american government. how do you react when you see this kind of thing? >> well, i would be amused if people saw the joke in it, because what he is doing, he is projecting what fox, what rupert murdoch is doing because he has a media empire that is telling the people falsehoods and leading the government in the
wrong direction. but, you know, by accusing me of doing that, it's kind of makes it rather hard to see that it's really he is working for the man who is doing it, which is fox news. >> but it's very personal. he talks about you as a 14-year-old boy and accuses you of essentially helping to run jews -- you're jewish yourself, lost many people in the holocaust. how did you feel about that? >> fox news makes a habit, imported the methods of george orwell where you can tell the people falsehoods and deceive them. and you wouldn't believe that an open society and democracy these methods can succeed. but actually, they did succeed.
they succeeded in germany where the republic collapsed and you had a nazi regime follow it. this is a very, very dangerous way of deceiving people. and i would like people to be aware that they are being deceived. now, i -- because i saw it as a child, i immediately react that way. but people in america, they are innocent. they haven't had the experience. having the experience now and i hope they wake up and they realize that they are being deseefd. >> what do you think of this broader movement of the tea party, of what's going on on the right? >> i think the people in the tea party are very decent people. hard-working, been hit by a force that comes from somewhere which they can't fully
understand and they are being misled. and they are misled by people who are using it for their selfish purposes, namely to remove regulations and reduce taxation. so re deuce taxation and regulation and being used and decei deceived. >> do you think there is some -- i'm struck by the fact when i first met you, you were always accused of being this ultracapitalist, the speculator, the person who understood markets better than anyone. and now you're painted as this left wing iconic figure. it's been quite a journey. >> you just had the experience of speaking through the puppetmaster and extreme left wing manipulator and you and the audience can make their own
decisions. >> and we will. george soros, thank you very much. >> my pleasure. >> we will be back. >> one of things you've surely heard is that they want a kind of islamic empire that would be like the 8th century cal fates of islam. do you hear that much? >> absolutely. yes, they do want to return to the cal fant. ben? the ups guy? no, you see ben, i see logistics. logistics? think--ben is new markets. ben is global access-- china and beyond. ben is a smarter supply chain. ben is higher margins. happier customers... everybody wins. logistics. exactly. see you guys tomorrow.
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segment. this week in egypt, the muslim brotherhood announced it would apply to become a political party. that is, of course, the islamic group long banned that many fear if allowed to come to power would create an islamic republic in egypt like in iran. ever since all eyes turn to egypt, there has been misinformation about the group. what's fact and what's fiction? joining me now, perhaps
america's top expert on the muslimbrotherhood, tarek masoud has been studying the group for years and writing a book about them. welcome. >> thank you. >> who are these people? you've met hundreds of them. what do they look like? give us a snapshot, a kind of profile. >> they actually look sort of like me when i was following them in the 2005 elections, i'd be wearing my blazer and clean shaen and people would think i was a member of the muslimb brotherhood. that is how they appear. we generally think they are poor people, down trodden turning to the certainty tips of religion. they are quite different. they generally tend to be pretty well educated, doctors, engineers, pharmacists, veterinarians. these are not the poor of egypt. they are upwardly mobile folks.
>> people think of them as a kind of retrograde organization. what is their relationship to the modern world? do they like it? do they want to turn egypt backwards? >> well, their relation to the modern world is complex. certainly they do want to turn egypt backwards but not backwards in the way that the taliban wanted to turn egypt backwards. they are not the kind of people who are rejecting western science and learning. if you look, for example, at the web presences of various political organizations, nobody uses the internet more intensively or effectively than the muslim brotherhood. these are people who have a desire to engage with the best thinking that's coming out of the west because they believe there's nothing contradictory between that and islam. >> one of things you've surely heard is that they want a caliphate. in other words, a kind of islamic empire that would be
like the 8th century caliphates of islam. do you hear that much? >> absolutely. so yes, they do want to return to the caliphate, but their reason is different and it seems to have evolved with time. you often read about a kind of united states of islam, that's the kind of thing they are looking for, a kind of european union for muslim countries, the ahead of which would be called a callive. >> are egyptians comfortable with the idea of a political party that would really disenfranchise women in a very big way? >> i think egyptians would not be comfortable with a political party that disenfranchises women. some members of the muslim brothers would be. if you look at the debates, they have not come on board that a woman could take egypt's presidency. as a result of them taking those views, lots of muslim brothers
have started to split away from the movement because they believe that that view is incompatible with what egyptians want. >> what is their commitment to democracy? you hear people say they would come to power democratically but then sub vert it. >> that is a very important question. it requires us, of course, to peer into their hearts to know whether when they say demand democracy and call for democracy they really mean it. my sense is that we've had a lot of experience with the muslim brothers over time, demanding democracy, behaving in ways that are democratic. i think generally their commitment to democracy is pretty sincere. i also think more important than that, nobody is on board for a return to a kind of auto kratic system. even if the muslim brothers wanted that, they couldn't achieve it. >> what is the relationship between the muslim brother has had and al qaeda? >> they view them as having sold
out as having abandoned the cause of jihad and by choosing to work within democracy and to try to compete in elections, they fear the muslim brothers are sellouts, upholding an un-islamic order. they have all kinds of blood curdling lines about dying for the sake of god is our highest as pieration. when those lines are uttered by rolly poly physicians they become less frightening. >> is it fair what you're describing is a group that is socially and politically pretty reaction narry on issues like women rights, as werners would extreme as reactionary and socially conservative to say the least but you don't detect any strong current that are deeply anti-democratic or that support violence in jihad. is that a fair summary?
>> i think absolutely. if we make this distinction between different kinds of extremism, there's an extremism of ends where your goals are perhaps extreme to erect a society that many of us may not agree with. and there's a extremism of means, the kinds of tools you are willing to use to get to those ends. the more extreme you are in that kmengs, the more violent you'll be. with the muslim brothers there's clear a an extremism of ends. but i think they come very cleanly on the side of nonviolence. in terms of their means, i don't think they are very extreme. you can work with them. >> is it fair to say, you're a scholar of the movement, and you've tried to understand them, but if you had to vote in an egyptian election, you would not vote for the muslim brotherhood. >> if i had to vote in an egyptian election, i would be voting for a liberal secular party, perhaps the left party, but no i would not be voting for
the muslim brothers but would allow them to participate in politics because i also think the only way you'll get them to evolve and change is by competing against them. >> tarek masoud, a pleasure. >> the predominant narrative of the last three decades in the middle east has been about arabs being inspired by iranian theocracy. we're talking about iranians being inspired by arab democracy.
now time for a check on today's top stories. as many as 180 people have been killed in libya from clashes between protesters of gadhafi and his security forces. in yemen, hundreds of anti-government protesters gathered for the tenth consecutive day while in bahrain yesterday, demonstrators regained control of a major square in that country's capital after deadly attacks by security forces. a sixth day of protestses are expected in wisconsin over the state budget. state workers are angry over a provision that remove all collective bargaining rights. tens of thousands have marched against the bill in the past five days. tea party activists joined the demonstrations in support of the
legislation. u.s. military officials say there's no reason to believe the hijacked american yacht has reached the somali coast. the u.s. military is prepared to intd veen if necessary. the yacht was enroute from india when it was captured friday by somali pirates. up next, more fareed zakaria gps and then reliable sources at the top of the hour. ... and how to fold 'em. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above and still pay the mid-size price. here we are... [ male announcer ] and there you go, business pro. there you go. go national. go like a pro. whoa! that achy cold needs alka-seltzer plus! it rushes multiple cold fighters, plus a powerful pain reliever, wherever you need it!
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with preferred or supreme. my money. my choice. my meineke. . the scene this week in iran's parliament was unlike any we've ever seen before. lawmakers were chanting death threats to opposition leaders and to a former president of the islamic republic. this was in reaction to a new round of protests against the government in tehran. can iran be another egypt? joining me now are two top experts on iran, sadjadpour is an associate of the carnegie endowment and a journalist who now lives in new york. karim, what is your sense? where is the green revolution that didn't quite work in 2009 today? >> fareed, there's an old maxim
about analysts and thor tear yan regimes. after they've collapsed we say it was inevitable. right now, i don't see this regime on the verge of collapse. at the same time, i don't see this regime's viability in the future. and i think -- >> you mean in the long term sense? >> in the long term sense as well. >> how do you read what's going on over the last tweweek or two? >> it's impossible to predict what the long-term future of iran is. the thing to remember about iran is the regime, the system, whatever you want to call it, has a lot of support. >> describe the support. >> the support is obviously among -- i can't give you numbers, i have no idea what the numbers are but has a tremendous amount of support, including
ahmadinejad himself. >> i would disagree with the character that it has tremendous support. i think there's a couple barometers, if it did, they would allow journalists to go there and report and allow other reporters to go there and see what's happening. and i think they would allow people to freely assemble and see what happens. but what i would say is this, i don't think they have very wide support, but i think the support they have is deep, meaning they have people who are very willing to kill and potentially die on behalf of the regime. i think that was one distinction between the islamic republic and egypt's mubarak, meaning, the breadth of their support is fairly similar, but i think far more iranians are willing to die -- >> why is that? >> i think that, it's easier to compel people to kill on behalf of islam than it is to kill on behalf of retaining mubarak republic. the other thing is, i don't think people in iran necessarily wake up in the morning thinking about democracy and thinking
about human rights and thinking about having a secular system. they do wake up in the morning thinking about the economy. younger generation thinks about employment opportunities, older generation thinks about economic dignity. if this regime didn't provide people political freedoms and sew freedoms but delivered on the economy, then i would agree. but when you deny people social freedoms and political freedoms and terribly mismanage the economy, i'm not sure what really redeeming qualities they have. >> when you look at what happened in egypt and how ahmadinejad tried to take credit for it and talked about an islamic wakening of sorts. he must be embarrassed by these protests. >> i don't think he is. neither he nor the ayatollahs who have taken credit who said it is a continuation of the islamic revolution because they realize whatever happens in
egypt, whatever happens, is going to be beneficial to iran. and not beneficial to the united states. >> why? >> because they feel that a -- even if it's a democracy like turkey, which is a best case scenario as far as we are concerned or israel is concerned, that is still beneficial to iran. they have had very bad relations over 30 years. practically enemies. and whatever happens, the will of the people and if the will of the people in egypt is reflected in the leadership, then it's going to be beneficial. it may be only marginally beneficial but it is something they would take great pride in. and say, as we say whether it is egypt, tunisia, bahrain -- >> a democratic arab country will be more proiranian? >> most all of them are anti-iran right now. i don't think they are terribly concerned about protests in
tehran or not saying they shouldn't be, i don't think they are terribly concerned about protests in tehran or the green movement. >> you don't see this protest as spiraling at all? >> i don't see that. i think there's a real dilemma for the leaders of the green movement. and they said this was -- these protests would be in support of the egyptian people. what they turned into, which is what the government had always said they were, was an anti-regime protest, not just anti-ahmadinejad protest. you saw people -- >> what is wrong with having anti-regime? >> there's nothing wrong with it. absolutely. >> they have -- the majority support. why not let the minority -- >> absolutely. but the view of the people in power in iran is at a time when the national security of iran is threatened by israel, threatened by the united states, threats of war, that the country should band together. this is their view. >> how would you respond? >> i would say fareed, is that
the predominant narrative of the last three decades in the middle east has been about arabs being inspired by iranian theocracy. that's been turned on its head. we're now talking about iranian being inspired by potentially arab democracy. and for me what's interesting is that troubled a lot in the arab world and go to cairo. i tell people i'm iranian and start to praise ahmadinejad. we're seeing arab popular support, expressions of support for iran are akin to latin america support for castro's cuba. european intellectuals support. iran is the defy ant order which they admire from afar but don't wish upon themselves. >> on that note, fascinating discussion. we'll of course follow it.
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our question this week from the gps challenge is, we don't know if he celebrated with a cake or candles or maybe a quiet dinner at home but we do no kim jong il marked a birthday this week. how old is he now officially? a, 59. b, 69. c, 79. d, 89. we'll tell you the correct answer. go to cnn.com/gps and don't forget to check out our podcast
that you can subscribe to at itunes. for now the price is fantastic, free. this week's book of the week "the media relations department of hezbollah wishes you a happy birthday qult. unexpected encounters in the changing middle east. the author is a former new york times bureau chief and grew up in libra and speaks arabic. it's a wonderful collection of portraits of the region and it shows you the voices of young reformers. it was not the intention of the book but it comes through very powerfully and very interesting. for the last look, these are unusual canvass for artists to say the least. they are blast walls in baghdad, the very thick concrete barriers put up to protect against explosions, city escapes and fisherman and horses, all subjects on what would o